March 28, 2014
Court Protects Consumers, Upholds Meat Labeling Rule
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has rejected a lawsuit challenging new federal rules requiring meat producers to disclose the national origins of meat products. The National Pork Producers Council, the American Meat Institute, and other industrial agriculture trade groups filed suit last year, arguing that they have a First Amendment right to conceal from consumers where meat products come from.
The ruling was announced after The Humane Society of the United States and a coalition of advocates for family farmers and farm workers joined with independent producers to defend the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s country-of-origin labeling regulations by filing an amicus curiae brief in support of consumers right to know about the origins of the food they eat.
“We’re pleased that the Court has rejected the absurd notion that meat producers have a First Amendment right to hide the origins of their products,” said Jonathan Lovvorn, senior vice president and chief counsel for animal protection litigation for The Humane Society of the United States. “Just as consumers deserve to know where their meat comes from, they also deserve to know how that meat was produced and if inhumane practices were involved.”
The coalition that filed the amicus curiae brief included The HSUS, the Organization for Competitive Markets, United Farm Workers of America, American Grassfed Association and several family farms.
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